The National Empowerment Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK) is a national Network that unites people living with HIV and those affected by TB and HIV/AIDS through post test clubs, support groups, community based organizations, non-governmental organizations and networks.
Registered in 2003, the Network’s mission is to promote greater and meaningful involvement of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the national response to TB and HIV/AIDS.
The overall goal of NEPHAK is to improve the quality of life of people infected/affected by HIV and AIDS. To reach this goal, NEPHAK has a purpose which is to enhance the knowledge and skills of PLHIV and affected communities in Kenya to participate meaningfully in TB and HIV/AIDS response policy, decision-making, mainstreaming and programming initiatives.
NEPHAK Core Competence and Niche
NEPHAK core competence and strength is derived from the Principle of greater and meaningful involvement of people living and/or affected with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) as spelt out at the Paris AIDS Summit in 1994. In emphasizing GIPA and the right to participation, NEPHAK recognizes that the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and affected communities makes a powerful contribution by enabling individuals and communities to draw on the experience of living with HIV in responding to HIV and AIDS. NEPHAK therefore works to leverage the lived experience and channel it to the national response. This contributes to reduction of stigma and discrimination and increases the effectiveness and appropriateness of the HIV/AIDS response. In HIV prevention, NEPHAK works to empower people already infected with the virus to reduce their risk of transmission and the chances of re-infection. This not only reduces the rate of new HIV infections but also improves the quality of life of PLHIV.
Within the multi-sectoral response to TB and HIV/AIDS in Kenya, NEPHAK is responsible for mobilizing people living with HIV (PLHIV) and communities affected by Tuberculosis and building their capacity to play an active and meaningful role in the national efforts geared towards the delivery of Universal Access and human rights targets. We work to enhance AIDS and TB competence among PLHIV and to sustain social transformation.
NEPHAK work is lead by an AIDS Competent PLHIV leadership who are able to recognize causes of vulnerability and risk to HIV and TB; build the capacity of others to respond to HIV and AIDS; network to exchange and share knowledge and skills; and, to mitigate the effects of TB and AIDS. An AIDS Competent PLHIV leadership is working to trigger social transformation among PLHIV, partners, their families and communities. In other words, an AIDS Competent PLHIV leadership have demonstrated courage and ability to facilitate the process through which affected communities in Kenya mobilize and organize themselves to understand both community and individual risk perceptions, social norms which facilitate and encourage both individual demand for, and use of prevention, care, treatment and social protection services, as well as greater acceptability of targeted interventions, and reduced marginalization of most at risk populations, including sex workers and prisoners living with HIV. We aim to achieve improved quality of life of those infected and affected.